Thousands Spend The Day After Trump's Inauguration Demonstrating In Pittsburgh

Jan 21, 2017

 

Hundreds of people joined the "Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional" rally, starting in East Liberty outside of Penn Plaza on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Thousands were out demonstrating in Pittsburgh in Saturday's unseasonably warm weather. 

 

As many as 25,000 were estimated to have packed downtown as part of the Women's March on Pittsburgh, a sister march of the national one in Washington D.C. 

The crowd first gathered in front of the City-County Building and headed toward Market Square. 

“This is America,” said Rick Davis, of Florida. The Alabama native was in Pittsburgh on business.

“I grew up in Alabama and watched people do this led by Martin Luther King," he said. 

 

Chants of “resist” and “love trumps hate” could be heard along different parts of march route and signs carried a variety of messages. Ward Richardson was there with his three young daughters.

 

“Girls can do whatever they want, there are no obstacles that are too big for them, there are no ‘boys tasks’ and ‘girl tasks,’" he said. "We can do whatever we want, whatever we put our minds to."

 

The downtown march drew people of varying backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. One group boasted three generations. 

 

Grandmother Rosemary McLaughlin was there with her daughter and granddaughter.

 

“I’m 67 and I’m tired of this crap,” McLaughlin said.

 

She said feminism has been important to her for decades. 

 

“In the '60s, I marched and I prayed and I worked and I dealt with prejudice on the job and I’m just determined that my daughter and granddaughter are not going to go through what I went through,” said McLaughlin.

 

Her 13-year-old granddaughter Lizzy Wetmore said she hopes to one day not have the need to march in the streets for women’s rights.

In D.C., Metro officials reported 275,000 rides Saturday morning

 

"I'm not here out of anger or fear, I'm out here for determination, for participation and hope that together we can make a difference," demonstrator Darcy Sawatzki told NPR. 

 

 

Hundreds gather in East Liberty near Penn Plaza for the "Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional" rally on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The “Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional” march and rally also drew hundreds of people to East Liberty.

 

The event was organized by local activists who identify as black femmes in response to the Women’s March on Pittsburgh, which some people viewed as non-inclusive in its leadership. Organizers of “Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional” focused on the issues of marginalized groups.

 

“We identified a need for (an) event that not only welcomes people of varying intersections verbally, but takes actions to make space for people from those various intersections,” said Sueno Del Mar.

 

With the event kicking off near Penn Plaza, the focus for some speakers was on gentrification, but also immigrant rights, disability rights and self-worth. 

 

"If you are a black woman, a black femme, non-binary or LGBT, please come toward the front. This is your space,” organizers announced at the beginning of the rally.

 

Organizers also created an alter to honor their ancestors. Honey, rum and tobacco were all symbolically sprayed on tokens, which included jewelry, photos and books.

 

The group then marched down Penn Avenue to the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where the Summit Against Racism was being held. Signs read “black joy,” “disability rights are human rights,” and “white silence equals violence.”

WESA reporters Virginia Alvino Young, Katie Blackley, Deanna Garcia and Sarah Kovash contributed to this report.